Sports Engineering

, 22:4 | Cite as

Topspin generation in tennis

  • Rod CrossEmail author
  • Crawford Lindsey
Original Article


Tennis players impart topspin to the ball by striking the ball in an upwards direction while the racquet head itself is aligned with the string plane approximately vertical. Significantly larger spin can be generated if the racquet head is tilted forward. The amount of spin that can be generated was investigated by measuring the spin off a stationary hand-held racquet, and then calculating the effects of swinging the racquet towards the ball with the racquet head tilted forward. The trajectory of the ball was also calculated to ensure that the resulting spin was consistent with realistic values of the outgoing speed and angle of the ball.


Racquet tilt Hand held racquet Tangential coefficient of restitution Ball trajectory Offset in normal force Change in reference frame 



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Copyright information

© International Sports Engineering Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhysicsUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Tennis WarehouseSan Luis ObispoUSA

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